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CryptoMaps helps you spend your cryptocurrency

Tony Zerucha

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Stop us if you’ve heard this before – a key point to increasing the use of cryptocurrency is making it easier to use. Many have recognized this and are solving that problem in unique ways. Some are increasing use cases by allowing people to use their cryptocurrency as collateral. Others allow them to lend it out. Many are pushing for ETFs and other use cases which improve liquidity.

Craig Cole is taking a much more basic step. Mr. Cole is the founder and CEO of CryptoMaps, an app providing current listings of restaurants, bars, ATMs, event venues and other businesses accepting digital currency. Available at the App Store, CryptoMaps can show you where the nearest crypto amenable businesses are on your mobile device.

Mr. Cole said he has been watching cryptocurrency for a few years but began trading it a year ago. Since then he has attended meetups and talking to purists who believe Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will replace the dollar. Mr. Cole doesn’t go quite that far.

“I think they’ll co-exist. The Fed won’t let it replace the dollar. But if purists think it will replace the dollar, they need to spend it.”

Early on those spenders would have to Google where they could spend their cryptocurrency in San Francisco. Why not save them the work?

Mr. Cole began to research cryptocurrency and blockchain to learn as much as he could. He also spoke to a friend who accepts Bitcoin at his restaurant, and that gave him an idea to track businesses that accept Bitcoin.

That fills a niche in an industry where most effort goes into POS systems and transfers.

“No one is focusing on showing where to spend cryptocurrency,” Mr. Cole explained. “Businesses have no way to advertise they accept it and users have no way to find out who accepts it.

“If the evolution of cryptocurrency and blockchain is to happen, there needs to be a company helping to bridge the gap and show them where they can spend it themselves.”

CryptoMaps commissioned a survey that generated some interesting results. Forty per cent of cryptocurrency owners contacted were female. While men own more crypto overall, a greater percentage of women (roughly 70 per cent) know how to buy it.

More than half of crypto owners (53.4 per cent) said they would use it for a variety of purchases, but almost 60 per cent don’t know where to spend it. More than one in three would accept paychecks in cryptocurrency and half would pay their mortgage with it.

An important ground level step in increasing he adoption of cryptocurrency, Mr. Cole believes.

“While there’s people literally changing the world with technology, there is a place where CryptoMaps is needed and where we can help grow adoption,” Mr. Cole said.

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha is an alternative finance journalist with more than seven years experience in the space. The author of more than 1,000 articles, Tony was named LendIt's 2018 Journalist of the Year.

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